UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May
Reduce the Stigma Attached to Financial Assistance
But increase the number of students who receive it, survey says.
A recent series of consultation meetings and open forums coupled
with on-line surveys and e-mail feedback have revealed that students
would like to see an increase in financial support along with a
reduction in the stigma some students associate with that support.
Last March, when the Board of Governors approved tuition increases,
it set aside $4.2 million, or 20 per cent of the increase for student
financial support, and designated $7.5 million for enhanced learning
and student support. This was in further support of the board's
long-standing policy that no qualified BC student should ever be
denied admission strictly for financial reasons.
During tuition consultations prior to the Board meeting last March,
students made it clear that they wanted the allocation of tuition
revenue to be transparent as well as a provision for accountability.
The Board of Governors agreed and requested details on the proposed
allocations for the May 2002 meeting.
Since the March board meeting, hundreds of students have attended
open forums, more than 400 e-mails have been received and about
3,000 students responded to an on-line survey.
"We were thrilled with how many students took the opportunity
to respond," says Michelle Aucoin, a development officer in
the office of the Vice-president, Students.
Feedback from undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students includes
support for the work-study program, need-based financial support,
more flexibility in the Canada Student Loan program, and financial
awards to recognize student leadership, mentorship and volunteer
activities. They also suggest increasing the value of the University
Scholars program and reducing the stigma that some students associate
with financial assistance.
Graduate students agree that the stigma should be reduced but they
would like to see an increase in the number of students receiving
financial support rather than increasing support to students who
already receive it. Other suggestions include ensuring greater equity
of funding across faculties, providing financial support that can
be recognized within academia, allocating funding to attract graduate
students to UBC and providing need-based assistance for students
without other financial support.
Last year, UBC awarded more than $36 million in merit-based scholarships
and $5 million in need-based bursaries. More than 11,000 UBC students
benefit from assistance.
If you would like to contribute a comment or suggestion please
e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information received from that feedback will be tabled at the next
Board of Governors meeting on May 16th along with a suggested allocation
of the revenue from the tuition increase.